Stephane Dion delivers his speech after winning the Liberal leadership Saturday, Dec. 2, 2006 in Montreal,Canada.
Canada’s official opposition Liberals on Saturday unexpectedly chose former Environment Minister Stephane Dion as their new leader despite political shortcomings that could hinder his chances in an election expected next year.
Dion, in fourth place after the first round of voting, beat former Harvard academic Michael Ignatieff on the fourth and final ballot at a Montreal leadership convention. Dion won by 2,521 votes to 2,084.
The Liberals have dominated Canadian politics for the past century but lost power to the Conservatives in a January election. The Conservatives have a minority government that looks set to fall in 2007, sparking a new election.
Leftie Socialism and Anti-American = Canada’s Liberal Party. It doesn’t look like this guy has the standing to beat Stephen Harper in the Fall of 2007.
Captain Ed agrees with the Left movement of the Liberal Party and adds that his lack of fluency in English among other deficiencies may spell trouble for the Liberal electoral prospects.
Stephane Dion is congratulated by Jean Chretien, Bill Graham, Paul Martin and John Turner, left to right following his speech after winning the Liberal leadership Saturday, Dec. 2, 2006 in Montreal.
Dion won in part by stressing the need to do more for the environment, a topic of increasing importance to Canadians.
But he has two potential strikes against him. First, he speaks English with a heavy French accent, which could make it hard to win over voters in what is a predominantly Anglophone country.
Second, he is unpopular in his home province of Quebec, which accounts for a quarter of the seats in the federal Parliament.
French-speaking separatists strongly dislike him for his efforts to prevent them from holding a successful referendum on whether Quebec should break away from the rest of Canada.
An Ipsos-Reid opinion poll published on Friday said if Dion won the leadership, the Liberals would win 27 percent support if an election were held now, compared with 35 percent for the Conservatives.
Flap wants to know why former Liberal Prime Ministers Paul Martin and Jean Chretien aren’t in jail?
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